I was I-A from having dropped out of college briefly before I transferred to UC Berkley (Bezerkly back then). On the day of the lottery,  5 or 6 friends gathered together to watch. It was like a sports contest with teams of 1. We alternately cheered winners or commiserated with losers. At that time, it was thought that the lottery would take all eligible men up to No. 300. So, when my number came up, I was reasonably happy but unsure if ultimately I would pay the price. Two or three of us were goners for sure (very low draft numbers). My friends all had various strategies for avoiding the draft. The brother of one of my friends starved himself literally so that his weight would drop below the minimum level required by the government for his height. Another close friend went to his physical after going into the bathroom and banging his knee against the wall so it swelled up (he had hurt it wrestling in the past). Another friend got a religious exemption because his mother worked in the Catholic Church for the priest who wrote a letter saying what a wonderfully religious guy he was (a UCLA guy who was not really religious).  This was after he had already made all the arrangements to go to Canada. Another friend decided to enlist. I went with him when he did it and the recruiting sergent (who was anything but a poster boy for the military, being somewhat out of shape–beer gut and all) tried to recruit me by telling me a wild story about a hippy guy with chicken bones around his neck he recruited by "getting down on the floor with him and taking off his shoe".  (I wrote a story about this in a creative writing class but nobody believed it was true). It was like out of a scene from Hair. This friend enlisted in the Army supposedly to avoid going to Nam and then after boot camp tried to persuade the Army to send him there anyways. He ended up going to Germany and getting himself severely burned in an accident.

Meanwhile, I went to Berkley and took Political Science before transferring down to UCLA. At Berkley I thought that the PS guys would be the wildest ones on campus, but noooo it was the English students and assorted other majors. We PS guys were asked to read some pretty wild stuff like Fritz Fanon, the Mao Tse Tung prescription for "brain washing" people (Turn over or something).  I went one time to the draft resisters office to offer my services, but they were so suspicious of everyone they turned me off. Then, Nixon bombed Cambodia and Laos and I participated in mass demonstrations (300,000 people or so). We sauntered along in downtown SF shouting "Ho Ho, Ho Chi Minh, The NLF is going to win." Unfortunately,  the rally itself was a real bummer (in the parlance of the day). Speaker after speaker got up to complain about everything under the sun with the possible exception of the war itself.

Later when I transferred down to UCLA, I wandered into a student demonstration on campus (I had just graduated). This was the one Bill Walton got arrested at (unlike most protestors he was handled fairly gingerly being the major athletic star on campus). In the meantime I was on the fringes minding my own business when the police troops moved in. They cleared people by pushing and shoving and I got one to the kidneys because I didn’t walk away fast enough to suit one of the cops. I wasn’t too happy about that as you might imagine.

All in all the draft lottery should have been a fair way to handle the draft but it retrospect it changed very little about who went and who did not. I knew people who were killed there and one guy who was jailed after fragging his CO. One time in JC a guy I knew from Little League gave me a ride and then proceeded to dress me down for not loving his war (just returned fron Nam and bitter about his treatment in the US when he got back). I can’t say that I blamed him except unlike some others I knew, I never called anyone a baby killer or blamed guys for going. Basically, I suppose the whole experience, from the Democratic National Convention in Chicago to the draft years, LBJ and the Happy Warrior Humphrey to the Nixon-Kissineger Gang of Four, made me highly cynical about anything governmental. It did not stop me from later becoming a VISTA volunteer (after I was rejected by the Peace Corps). But, the bottom line is that I have a lot of trouble believing ANYTHING ANYONE WITH AN AGENDA SAYS. And, I have been angry for a long time about the futility of it all. No one seems to learn anything (e.g. Iraq).